Cammo Style Love: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nature's Sleep Slipper Review and Giveaway!

Hi everyone, gonna blast you with a couple post in the next couple days so watch out!! I've had so much going on in my house and in my head that I feel like I'm playing catch up even though I'm not necessarily trying to catch up to anything (to mom's this might make sense). And now that I'm not cross-eyed anymore I have a fabulous review and giveaway brought to you by the fabulous people at Nature's Sleep! I was able to review their closed toe slippers in pink. In a word, AMAZING!! These are an indoor/outdoor sleeper with visco-elastic memory foam inside. They are comfortable and designed to absorb pressure and impact.
These slippers are super comfortable I will say.  Warm and I helped save my feet on this nasty rough carpet that is in the house we just moved in (ouch).  I've worn them inside and out with no issues, and have been able to clean the bottom of the shoes when I've needed.  The traction is pretty good for a slipper.  No slipping and sliding on the wood or linoleum floors, which is super nice when you are carrying around a little one all the time.  I also am notorious for foot issues (from my dancing days) and while I love these slippers there isn't a ton of arch support.  The memory foam is wonderfully comfortable on my sore tootsies, but if you are really looking for some intense arch support this might not be the slipper for you.  Also, I will say is that after a couple of weeks of wearing them I had a seam separation where the slipper meets the sole.  I'm not exactly sure how this happened, and I don't remember snagging it on anything in particular.  Totally easy to fix and it may have well been something I did that isn't ringing a bell.  I feel like these slippers are really well made in general, and like I said, I was able to fix it fairly easily.

The Nature's Sleep company has some amazing products, several of which are on my wish list.  I'm a stomach sleeper and finding a supportive, yet not too bulky pillow is hard to find and I'm itching to give one of their pillows a try.  And really, who wouldn't want to have a fabulous memory foam mattress.  check out some of these other things available from Nature's Sleep.

What did I think: I definitely give this slipper three out of four combat boots.  Its a comfortable slipper, with moderate support, warm and keeps me fro slipping around like if I had socks.  And while there may be issue with the strength of the seams and arch support I still really like this slipper and would definitely consider purchasing it as a gift for someone, or recommend it for someone in the market for a good quality slipper or house shoe.

Buy it: You can buy this in a open or closed toe model on.  You can use the code BEARS50 for 50% off your purchase! Hurry Hurry!

Win it: One lucky Cammo Style Love reader will be winning a pair of their very own in the choice of color and style!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"The Orignial Homeland Security" T-shirt giveaway!

This Review & Giveaway is done by SaraLee's Deals Steals & Giveaways

Are you a person who is pro guns than this giveaway is for you. I am all for owning guns as long as you are a responsible person. You can get affordable cool gun shirts here. There is a lot of shirts to choose from so take your time when picking one out.
My husband and dad loved their shirts I gave them over the holiday weekend. My husband has gotten so many comments and thumbs up over his shirt. "The Original Homeland Security" T-Shirt was the perfect shirt for my husband .

Now for the Giveaway: One lucky person will win "The Original Homeland Security" T-Shirt in black. This is open to the US only and ends 6/12 @ 11:59 pm est. To enter, simply do the tasks on the Rafflecopter widget below and you're set to have a chance to win! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Cloth Diaper Journey

The journey to cloth diapering, for me at least, has been a long and crazy one. The idea to cloth diaper came to me while I was still pregnant with our third, who is now 2 months old. It had honestly never occurred to me to cloth diaper; and truthfully that was just because I was completely uneducated. Like many people I think, that don't cloth diaper, I was overwhelmed with the daunting task of prefolds and pins, and rising and washing, and on and on and on it would run in my head. My main reason for being interested in cloth diapering was the money saving factor; but that overwhelming aspect had really ever kept me from taking it further than just a fleeting thought. Then I began to really commit to my blogging, meeting new people and really diving in. I came across these new and fancy cloth diapers! No prefolds, no pins, and the most adorable prints and colors I had ever seen! I was hooked from the moment I laid my eyes on them. I thought, holy cow, I can do this for sure! I soon became completely obsessed. I was reading blogs, researching websites, watching youtube videos. Then I discovered Diaperswappers.  Best discovery I ever made.  I was able to get used cloth diapers from moms that cared about diapering, that took care of their diapers.  We became the proud owners of used diapers that looked brand new and saved me even more money!

On top of the used ones I've gotten, I'm also the proud owner of some dipes that I won from some of the amazing cloth diapering blogging moms. And since this was Phillips first Christmas at only 2 months old...what better than to request from Santa than some adorable Gro-Via diapers in the owl print!

My sweet husband is a saint.  Not only did he listen to me for hours and hours about what we should, could, would do, and about all the things I was learning about, and the different cloth diapers; but it wasn't that difficult for me to get him aboard the cloth diapering train. Although, he did once say to me "if you can not talk about cloth for one month you can buy anything you want!" Oh heavens. Of course that was completely crazy because I couldn't. I was discovering new and exciting fun things every day and I wanted to talk about it.

I will say that I have the worst luck when it comes to running into those that were a little too passionate about cloth diapering.  I know that sounds crazy, being too passionate about something, but we all know they are out there. Its like with anything in life, there are people who are really passionate about stuff and don't do well on the respecting other people's fronts. And I don't know about you, but that just turns me off from whatever it is they are talking about. I think more people would cloth diaper if it was a fun, relaxed thing. Before I had decided to do it i had people in my life who would talk to me about natural diapers and chlorine free and all that stuff. They would be so aggressive when talking to me, saying "how dare I put my child in that horrible stuff". Not really ever offering me detailed alternatives or telling me what they really did, just that I shouldn't do what I'm doing. Its my strong willed self that wants to completely do the opposite of whatever that person is saying. My two older kids are wonderfully healthy and I was never super-green minded so the idea never occurred to me. Then one day I ran across my sweet friend Holly's recently uploaded pics when she was pregnant with her second girl. And there was these adorable pink diapers that her sister had given her. I was like, what are those adorable things?! And it was with that question that I began my journey to cloth diapering. It was a great discussion. She taught me so much in just a few facebook conversations and gave me some wonderful advice and pointed me in the right directions. It was a simple, nice, normal conversation between two friends. I credit her for my transformation to a cloth diapering mama! I have now paid it forward and the same conversation with two of my friends and they are extremely interested in cloth diapering, and one is doing it now!!!

I will say that I still am a little lazy about it, and I feel like I'm still working out the kinks.  Every once in awhile I mess up my rhythm and run out of diapers before a wash.  I use a disposable.  I try not to be too hard on myself.  I was pretty proud of myself recently though because I went on a three week trip to my hometown, with my three kids in tow and by myself, and cloth diapered!!  I was very intimidated by the fact of cloth diapering on vacation.  But it was way easier than I expected once I figured out how to transport them all with everything else I had to take with me.  Traveling with your cloth isn't light.  But I did it and I am kinda proud of myself.  Gave myself a little pat on the back.  I used a slightly smaller version of my regular stash and didn't use any of the disposable inserts.  I really haven't given those a try yet so I really need to.  I have a feeling that during camping that will come in handy.

Right now my cloth diaper collection includes mostly Gro-Via and Flip (stay dry and organic), but I have a Best Bottoms, a Knickernappy, kawaii, Done With Disposables and Smarti Pants.  After using them for a month or too I've come to just be in love with my Gro-Via and my Done With Disposibles.  They fit my little guy so perfect and keep all that EBF where its supposed to be.  I use Planet Wise for my wet bags. And so far all of them have made the transition completely easy for me. I haven't once felt overwhelmed. I've not noticed my laundry chores going up. The biggest con to disposables, for me, is the trash! Tons and tons of unnecessary trash is created, on top of all the other trash, from diapers. As I'd mentioned before, I don't consider myself a super green person; I recycle and stuff like that, but that's about the extent of my greeness. But when I saw how easy it was to do my part it was like an added perk to what already seemed like a great idea. The only con that I've experienced so far isn't something that the normal family would experience. Since we are a military family we have to experience the occasional move, and this state that we are in right now has been long term when we weren't planning on it. It has gone from a week and a half to now about three weeks. It is really hard to cloth diaper in a situation like this. But like I said, I can't imagine most people would experience that problem and I don't think cloth diapering while doing normal, well-prepared traveling would be difficult at all.

There are so many different kinds of diapers! I couldn't possibly blog about them all at once. Cloth Diaper on!!! Hooah! Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BabyGanics Teeth Pods Review

We are in full teething mode around the Cammo Love house.  This is my third go-round and I've got to say I think I was a lucky mama with my first two.  Either that, or I've liked blocked out the trauma...I'm not sure which.  This time around my little man is quite the fussy teether.  I got myself one of those amber teething necklaces, which I'm still not 100% about.  I've tried the orajel stuff, teething rings and all sorts of other things.  So, when I got the opportunity to try BabyGanics Teeth Pods I jumped on it.  They are actually called BabyGanics Say Aahhh! Benzocaine Free Gel Teething Pods.  Shewwww, that's a mouth full.  I'm never one to go first to the natural/organic type thing.  A lot of times they are more expensive and I'm not totally sold that those things work better or even the same.  Frankly I'm more concerned with what works, and no matter what type of thing it is I usually like to get the recommendation of another mama!  That's why when I love a product I always try to talk about it as much as I can, buy as gifts and anything else I can think of.

So I am happy to talk about this recent discovery of mine.  In fact, after I received it to review I stumbled upon the brand in my local Buy Buy Baby store!  I'm going to pick up a few other products to test out (including their laundry detergent, which I hear might be awesome for cloth diapers).  I love when I find something that I can actually buy in the store.  While I appreciate online retailers, and there are many I love, nothing beats being about to drive five minutes to pick up something that I love and need.

Before I get to my review let me tell you a little bit about BabyGanics Teething Pods.

Keeping Your Baby’s Mouth Ouch-Free the Natural Way

Do you hate seeing your baby in pain; completely inconsolable due to
teething? When your baby starts to teethe, the growing pains can become so
unbearable that even cold compresses and whiskey will not silence the cries.
So what is a concerned parent to do? The good news is there is now a
naturally safe and effective method for comforting your little ones aching
gums; BabyGanics newest product, Say Aahhh! Benzocaine Free Gel Teething
Pods. These portable pods are not only sanitary and convenient, but they are
free of Benzocaine, so you can ease your child’s teething pains safely;
anytime and anywhere.
BabyGanics Say Aahhh! Benzocaine Free Gel Teething Pods are ideal for
everywhere a teething tantrum might occur. These highly portable pods can be
kept in your diaper bag, stroller, purse or even in your nursery! They are
free of Benzocaine, parabens, synthetic flavor, phthalates, mineral oil,
petrolatum and toxins and are also dye and alcohol free and contain no nuts
or gluten. Instead, they are formulated with plant-based ingredients like
coconut oil, clove oil and Stevia. Simply peel back the film on the tray and
use the included cotton applicator to apply a small amount of gel to your
infant’s gums for instant relief. Each package includes 10 single use pods
and soft cotton applicators, retailing for $5.99 and available for purchase
at, Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby.

What did I think?  Well, more importantly what did Mr. Phil think? 

No joke, this is how it went...whiny buddy chewing on his toys, to sticking it in his mouth, to him grabbing it and sucking on it!  It clearly tasted good and smelled good.  And frankly I don't think there is any better advertisement then that.  I think it definitely works, and it works quickly. It lasts for forever too.  I probably used the same one three times, before moving onto the next pod.  I appreciate that, and the fact that it is very affordable.  Its really the a mom's dream come true.  It works, its affordable and its easy.  

If you're looking an affordable, easy and All Natural product to use for your teething baby I recommend you head over to BabiesRUs or Buy Buy Baby, or BabyGanics website to pick up your Teething Pods; and while you're there check out some of their other amazing products.  High on my list is of to tries include:

Fabric and Nursery Spray
BabyGanics Laundry Bundle
Cover Up Baby Sunscreen
Let's Boogie Saline Spray

Monday, May 28, 2012

Some thoughts this Memorial Day

Well it's Memorial Day and I had wanted this to be my week for my Military Life Series (check out the first post here). I sat down to write my post, about my strange military life but I kept hitting the backspace key, typing more and then deleting more. It's too hard. My life is hard, the hubby is gone a lot and I respect the USAG and OPSEC and I guess I'll just leave it at that. I will say for our time in the service we have been far away from any sort of military community. No commissary, no PX, no real Family Services to speak of and that has been one of the hardest parts recently. Before we had kids I really could have cares less. I got myself involved where I could; and far less people had kids so it wasn't an issue for me. After having kids that got harder and harder. I was grateful for what I had and tried not to dwell on what I didn't. I've been through deployment time alone, tdy alone, other various trips and I've survived. I know I'm not alone. I know others walk with me an have walked before me. I know I'm far top sensitive about things too. The war between the branches bothers me, even though I know somewhere inside most branches respect each other for the tasks they do to provide support for and protect each other. The looking down upon of National Guardsmen and women bothers me because it usually comes from a place of not knowing.. There are full time men and women who provide support every day for the war, amazing things that go unnoticed and not talked about. There are traditional Guardsmen who do the same. Just because they don't put on a uniform every day doesn't mean they are any less deserving of our love, support, admiration and respect. For the most part I think (at least I hope) they do.

On Saturday we had the honor of hanging out in Section 60. We were going to lay some yellow roses on a couple graves. It was perhaps the most humbling and connective feeling I've ever had. I walked among friends and family with their blankets laid out, their folding chairs, friends toasting beers to their buddies and thousands and thousands of little flags blowing in the light breeze. It made me think that everything else just doesn't matter. Rank, pay, job, branch.....none omit matters here. I met a new family of a fallen soldier who came up to me as we were laying flowers on our grave. It was an instant connection and now I've added that soldier to my list. Among others we visited we remembered Lance Cpl Daniel Bennett and Sergeant Sean Ferguson. This time I also wanted to find grave sites baring our last name and my maiden name. We did and the kids laid flowers on there as well. We talked about honoring those who keep this country free and in their little 3 and 5 year old brains they understood for just tht moment. I saw an older gentlemen salute the gravestone of someone. I don't know what the connection was but it doesn't really matter. It was the most moving thing to me that day.

This morning I also had the honor of attending the Air Force Memorial wreath laying, with special recognition given to The Tuskeegee Airmen, the men and women of the Mighty 8th, and the forgotten Flyin Tigers who protected and flew over China during WWII. It was a beautiful ceremony a during taps my adorable son joined the others in a hand salute. I couldn't snap a picture, which was a bummer as a snap happy mama, but it was meaningful to me and several others who saw him do it.

So this memorial day I am grateful. Not just for my husband, but my grandfather Sergeant Major George M. who served in the Army National Guard in the Korean War and my other grandfather who started in the Army Air Corp in WWII as a top turret gunner and ended his career as a Master Sergeant in the Army, and my Great Uncle who was KIA and MIA for a period of time in WWII. I am grateful for the two graves we discovered today, who share our names. One gentleman Served in Company E, 7th Infantry Division and died in 1891. The other was a Major who served in Korea. Its a connection to our past. Even though we probably aren't related to these two gentleman, its still an honor nonetheless. So I close these thoughts, grateful for where I am, grateful for what I come from and what I can pass on to my children. Grateful that I am here in the DC Metro area and can be a part of these things. So glad that my child, even though they are mostly too young to really understand, can be a part of it as well.

And on this memorial day, some treats for those that are still serving (and anyone else that might like to take advantage of this stuff):

If you saw my post about meeting Scott, director and producer of Act of Valor, who might have seen the trailer and heard that the DVD/Blu-Ray are set to come out in a couple days. Well, 20th Century Fox would like to provide my readers with a coupon code for the film which releases on June 5. Please enjoy $3 off and free shipping with coupon code “VALOR” valid 5/19-6/17 at I also wanted to let you know about JollyBox. It is a pretty awesome company that puts together and delivers themed care packages to your deployed loved one! You can leave it up to them, and you can fill out a special survey so the box can be customized for your loved one. You can also include a special personal note. For just $25 you can have your very own JollyBox created. I know that I love the fun of making my own care packages, especially including the kids in it. In fact we just did one for a very close friend. But sometimes it might be nice to have one sent out during a time when I might be on overload with running things around here by myself. I think its a great idea! I could also see it being amazing for the adopt-a-soldier program that I work with through Soldier's Angels. I also have a coupon code for you with JollyBox! You can get $10 off your first month just by entering "First10" during your check out! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your memorial day coupon treats from Cammo Style Love!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rhe's Bookshelf Reviews #6!

It's been awhile but I have some book reviews today, HOORAY!!! Ever since I got really sick and pregnant in the summer of last year its pretty much been like I've been living my life going 100mph. Really sick, then catching up from the sick, then prepping for baby number three, then preparing for the holidays out of town - Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then, having baby number three and getting ready for a cross-country move. I mean, seriously, I give myself a hard time about it because that's my personality. I really enjoy walking on the edge of sanity and serious mental breakdown/anxiety overload. My husband swears I do at least. Last year I had a seriously ambitious reading goal, which I completely failed at. This year I've lowered it significantly and I'm already feeling like a failure. Not to mention I haven't done any knitting, crocheting or scrapbooking since I had Phillip. Now that I've completely turned this into a venting post, on to the good stuff. I have two books to review for you, both of which I love. I had previously reviewed the second book in the Winston Churchill thriller series by Michael and Patrick McMenamin, The Parsifal Pursuit.  Thanks to Business2Blogger for the opportunity to review these books as well.  I really love this series, as I mentioned before, so I was very excited to read this third installment.  The Gemini Agenda proved to be every bit as good as I had hoped it would be, and its safe for me to say that it was actually my favorite.  Here's a brief little summary -

A string of strange deaths in 1932 leads Bourke Cockran, Jr., and his lover Mattie McGary to uncover a plot by Nazi scientists to conduct lethal experiments on American twins in order to create a master race.
They confront an international conspiracy connecting Wall Street to Washington, DC; from Long Island's fabled Gold Coast to the marble corridors of the Barlow Palace in Munich, headquarters of the fast-rising Nazi Party; and finally to a sinister clinic hidden deep in the Bavarian Forest. The Gemini Agenda is a historical thriller, the third in the Winston Churchill trilogy.

I really don't wanna give too much away about the book because they really are that good.  It will satisfy a lot of different people I think.  People who just love a good mystery, history lovers, or people that just appreciate a good book.  Its information intense, which I love.  You have to pay attention and you learn so much.  And, like with the last one, Michael and Patrick have taken great pains to ensure the historical integrity of the book.  I have read a lot of Historical Fiction books, because it is a genre that I really enjoy.  These books are some of the best out there.  If I didn't know that there were fiction items in it I would believe that this truly and actually happened exactly as written.  It isn't over the top or outlandish and stays true to that era.  It was crazy enough then to not need to really go overboard.  I highly recommend this book.  Please check out the McMenamin's website to read more about them and their books.  You can purchase a copy here on Amazon.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars.

The next book on my shelf is Be The People: A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise by Carol M. Swain.  BookSneeze has given me so many great books to review and read.  I'm a lucky girl.

An insightful analysis of the forces of deception rapidly reshaping America's morals, social policies, and culture, with a call to specific action, written by a thoughtful and courageous Christian social scientist on the front lines of today's issues.
Cultural elites in the media, academia, and politics are daily deceiving millions of Americans into passively supporting policies that are detrimental to the nation and their own best interest. Although some Americans can see through the smokescreen, they feel powerless to redirect the forces inside and outside government that radically threaten cherished values and principles.
Drawing on her training in political science and law, Dr. Swain thoughtfully examines the religious significance of the founding of our nation and the deceptions that have infiltrated our daily lives and now threaten traditional families, unborn children, and members of various racial and ethnic groups-as well as national sovereignty itself--and provides action points for the people of this country to make the political system more responsive.
The book is divided into two sections: Forsaking what we once knew, Re-embracing truth and justice in policy choices
It also covers key topics such as: America's shift to moral relativism, America's religious roots, Abortion's fragile facade, Historical and biblical views on families and children, Erosion of rule of law, national security, and immigration, Racial and ethnic challenges, Reclaiming the future. 

I gotta say, this was a fantastic book.  It got me all riled up, and that's a good sign.  It was a rare perspective from someone with her background.  Because everything inside me would have guessed that she's the opposite.  Now I know that might not be the most PC thing to say, but lets be real, I'm not PC.  Another thing to be real about is who will like this book.  Even though I think that anyone, from any view, should read this book, you will either love it or hate it.  As an African-American, highly educated, Woman she provides a unique view on these topics, and one that people might not expect.  I feel torn as to how to really review this book.  Clearly I am biased, but aren't we all.  I'm probably not going to change your mind and you probably won't change mine.  I feel like if people accepted that we'd get along a lot better.  If we spent less time arguing to change each other's minds we might learn a lot from each other.  There are so many topics covered in this book and it is easy to get on information overload.  However, it proves to a smooth and easy read.  It is very conversational and it was enjoyable to read.  It re-lit a fire in me and helped me to gain a new perspective and understanding on beliefs I already held true.

I recommend this book.  It's great, and it gets 4 Stars from me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mommy and Me Monday...and some other fun stuff

I have been stalking this blog hop for quite some time (cuz you're just awesome chica).  And now I'm actually remembering to participate!  Hallelujah!!  Make sure to also check out some of my recent posts that are pretty cool if I do say so myself - Taking Care of You, an awesome guest post about life as a Reserve Spouse, and site seeing in DC.

This weekend the hubbs was gone so I decided to get out of the house with the kids and do something fun.  Luckily I have an awesome new friend and neighbor with a little boy.  He absolutely adores all three of my children and the feeling is mutual.  Moving to a new place is hard but they have made it much easier on us.  So along with my Mommy and Me Monday pic I've added a few others as well!  Make sure to link up.

This is us at The National Zoo in D.C.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?
Marine Parents

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Taking care of you.....with #EdenFantasys {G-Rated}

So Mother's Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day have come and birthday is also thrown in there, so I'm usually a pretty spoiled girl come May. My hubby doesn't usually do anything super big for Mil-Spouse Appreciation day, but usually it's a little something - a card, a coin or something along those lines; and it's usually military related. But....when its over now what?  I was thinking about it though that when I set aside time for me, whether it be to go get my hair cut, a mani/pedi, a nice bath even grocery shopping by myself I keep my energy level up and my sanity in place.  I know its seems like lame product placement but I surprisingly found myself skimming the pages of Eden Fantasys after recently being introduced to them, for inexpensive body products.  Its not a place I would have gone first, because why not go somewhere right now where I can get something (even though I would be paying more).  But I digress...

          My husband is always telling me not to get close that sanity cliff. As moms, though, sometimes I think we find ourselves about to fall over even before we even realized we were close enough. I think it's important during those non-holiday months to make sure we mom's have time. That is a tough thing to guarantee when you're a mom, and then throw into that that you're a military spouse. You can include single mom's into that, wives whose husband's travel constantly for work. I have a friend whose husband was gone almost as much as mine was and he wasn't even in the military, so I know we aren't the only one with this struggle. So, here I am with this time. I've got it, the hubby tells me to by either taking care of the kids himself or telling me to just hire a babysitter already! (Could you hear his military voice there, like he was yelling at one of his Airmen?) Now the dueling begins in my brain. Its an even tougher duel if the hubby is home and offering. He's home for crying out loud, a rare occurence. Why do I want to go out without him? I want to be with him, and more importantly I want to be with him.  I also wouldn't mind doing something together as a family, grasping tightly to these fleeting moments, when the kids are small, think we are the world and love everything about us *wink wink*.

But back to the hubby.  Spending time with him is really what I'm getting at.  I know its important to have me time, but I can do that while he's gone (spending money on a babysitter so I can go dink around still makes me cringe).  Maybe I'll find a sparkly halter top to go out in, put some make-up on and some 4 inch heels so he'll have something to think about on those days he's away.  Or maybe a little something for later.  The point is to remember to take time in our crazy lives.  Leave the dishes, leave the toys and put off the laundry for another day.  In the moments we have together as a couple and as a family, take them and run!

And if you might interested in checking out EdenFantasys even though it might be a little weird or new do it.  I was actually impressed with the quality of the items and the range of items.  They have so much more than one might assume.  Awesome beauty products and cute clothes.  Stuff to pamper yourself with.  As always their standard shipping is free for orders $59+ and there are some great promotions going on right now.

Thanks for stopping by this Sunday and I hope your week is wonderful.  Remember to take time for you.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for EdenFantasys bloggers.  As always (as stated in my Disclosure/PR tab, I was not compensated in order to give a positive review or statement.  My thoughts and opinions are my ownTake them or leave them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post - A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corp

Hi everyone!  I'm kicking off my military life series with a new bloggy mil-spouse friend from over at A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corp.  The goal of this series is two part - first, to talk about unique situations with the military and highlight different portions of them just so that people can learn something.  Secondly, maybe someone out there in that same situation is struggling, hopefully from this series you will find that you are not alone.  There are other amazing women out there that are living the same life you are!  This is an amazing post and I hope you take the time to read every word.  Its amazing.

A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corps

A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008 as a means of coping with a deployment.  She is a Vet Tech by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care.  She is married to a 10 year veteran of the USMC reserves, whom she meet shortly after he returned from a deployment.  They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both. 

Check out the Girl's FB page here

Stuck in the Middle

My weird life as a reservist wife and how I found where I belong

I sat down to write and nothing came to me.  How is being a reserve wife different?  How is our life affected by being a reserve family?  Is there a difference at all between reserve life and active duty life?

Let’s start with the most common question I get asked.  We’ll start with the very basics.  How is my marriage affected by my husband’s military service?  Then the inevitable, “Oh.  Is that different than if he were active duty?”   Yes, I suppose it is.  But would a civilian know the difference?  Probably not.  The main difference I find myself explaining is that I do not PCS.  Ok, so I use the word “move” but it’s because my friends give me blank stares when I speak military.  Heck, I still stare blankly at my husband when he speaks military and I’ve been with him for 6 years and married for four.  But no, I do not PCS.  Ever. 

The other main difference in our life is that my husband has two jobs.  Every morning he wakes up, gets dressed and drives to his civilian job and talks with his civilian friends and does his civilian things.  Then he comes home, says hello with a wink and a kiss on the cheek and immediately turns on his computer and begins the military side of his day.  He has word to disseminate, he has emails to read and respond to, this Marine or that Marine needs this or that.  He has this call to make, he has this checklist to edit.  In actuality, he usually comes home and winks at me and kisses me on the cheek in lieu of a verbal hello because he’s talking to a Marine.  I know the a lot of wives say their husbands mistress is the military, heck, I’ve said it, but the truth of our life is that I am the mistress because my husband was married to the USMC long before he met me.

We have a constant battle in our life.  I call it the “Why? Battle”.  Why was I left alone in the ER when a bookcase fell on me and we thought my arm was broken?  Why isn’t my husband home?  Why are we broke again?  Why isn’t The Boy here today?  Why did I RSVP for just one?  It’s a battle with my husband and everyone we know.   The reason is because we live a civilian style life.  We own a home, we both have civilian jobs that are not military related and we have NO military neighbors.  I don’t even live near another military spouse from our unit, the nearest one to me is over an hour away.  Most are 3 or more.  By all outward appearances, my husband’s only dead giveaway to being a Marine is the hair cut and his impeccable posture.  But our internal life is very military.

My husband and I didn’t spend our first anniversary together until our third year of marriage.  He almost always misses my birthday and every other major life event.  He hasn’t met more than half of my family (or has only met them once… at our wedding) because he NEVER makes it to any sort of family function.  We constantly don’t get paid when we are supposed to for his service, he deploys, and nearly every inch of spare space we have in our Townhome is used to store his gear and various other things he’s acquired in 10 years of service.  The bulk of our good friends are people he’s served with, or still does.  More than 70% of my FB friends are Marines and spouses.  And, for the most part, we see the same unique challenges standard in military life

Some key differences are, we don’t get a uniform allowance, or anything of the kind.  We only qualify for Tricare when he is activated, there are not many, if any, groups that will help us when the military screws us over and, sadly, we are often not accepted by many people in the military community.

I often feel like we are in a strange place of limbo.  The military thinks the hubs civilian job should make up for all that we don’t qualify for, his civilian job (and mine) seem to think we have some secret access to all the money in the world through his military service.  I often find myself very, very, very, VERY jealous of active duty spouses.  You’re probably laughing at that.  I think I would if I wasn’t in my situation.  I don’t PCS every 2 years, I don’t say goodbye to my support system and have to build another one quickly.  I don’t have to find a new favorite restaurant that serves my comfort food when the hubs is gone.   Those things are all true, more true than I care to admit.  But the reality of my life is that I don’t have a support system, I have a house and three dogs when my husband is deployed.  And that is it.

I think that is probably the most unique challenge to reserve life VS active duty or simply being a civilian.  We are caught in the middle somewhere.  We often get treated like we are not military, but civilians definitely do not understand our life at all.  And because of this middle ground we stand on, I don’t have a solid support structure.  My civilian friends do not have any clue what I’m going through.  But I don’t have a base full of other spouses, or even a community of military families to look to either.   When my husband deployed shortly after our wedding, I was lost.  There I was, in a new house and town, just me and my new puppy.  When you don’t have solid access to the support you need, you become independent, as ANY military spouse can tell you.  But what do you do when that independent life you are leading also means, you have absolutely no one in it that can even try to empathize?  I learned to navigate Tricare on my own.  The military base near me has nothing to offer when it comes to help regarding benefits.  I found out the hard way… Well, honestly, EVERYTHING.  What I wouldn’t have given to have had someone to turn to and say, “Well, geesh, today just sucks, just because,” and have them be able to read my mind as to why.  And when I wanted to punch civilians in the face for being insensitive or just simply not understanding, I would have loved someone to turn to and say, “Really!?” And have them be able to laugh and say, “You get used to it.”

Instead, my best friend, who I did volunteer work for, fired me the day I kissed my husband for the last time and watch him board a bus that would take him to the plane that would fly him to his station in Iraq.  The reason?  Because I told her I couldn’t make a few phone calls because I was stressed.  When I asked her to understand why, she told me she couldn’t possibly, because her husband wasn’t deployed.  Not only did my heart break, but it was that moment that I realized what it meant to be a reserve wife, caught in the middle of two worlds.

I feel very fortunate to have found blogging, which I had never even heard of until a month before the husband left.  I started a blog, not caring if anyone other than me ever read it.  I poured my heart out into an online super secret, super public journal.  I’m positive that I was laughed at constantly, but I was also understood.  The follies of being a new military spouse navigating this strange world on my own and stumbling constantly on the way were, in no doubt, sadly hysterical, but I also found kindred spirits in the spouses of people I’d never met.  I found a world where it didn’t matter if I was reserve or active duty, what mattered was that I was a military spouse.  In my day to day, I feel stuck in the middle, trying to find a balance between two very different worlds, neither of which feel I am wholly a part of it, but when I’m in the milspouse blogging community, I’m just a millie. I’m just A Girl, who loves A Boy, who is married to the Marine Corps.

Blog Hops Everyday and A Mommy's Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mil-Spouse Appreciation Day!!

Well, here I am, a day late with my mil-spouse appreciation day post. This has been an amazing week for me and my mind has been swimming with thoughts and ideas for me and my blog, and my readers. One thing I am very excited about is an upcoming series about the military life. There are so many spouses, experiencing different things, in different situations, from different backgrounds and living different lives. But, and that's an important BUT.....we can all learn from each other. Even if we aren't going through a specific situation we can still learn from them. I feel like the military life is like perpetual school. I know that every day I'm learning something new. I'm seeing other ways to cope. My kids help me learn. They help me learn to be a better woman, mother and wife! I'm stronger because I know I can be. I hope to bring some amazing stories to you. Stories from some amazing fellow mil-spouses that are strong and beautiful women, along with bringing you my own story.

So to all the strong women out there, Military spouses, girlfriends an fiancé, thank you so much for your example, for your inspiration and encouragement. Stay tuned for a new story every week.

Now just a little tidbit about me

I'm an Air Force Wife, technically Air Guard, but we are full time...ridiculously hard to explain most of the time.......

We have three beautiful children and have been together for 13 years!

I love to read when I can, watch black and white movies, spend time with the huzzy when I can. Watch my crazy children grow, watch the news, read the news, learn as much as possible about the amazing history of our country! We are now living in the DC metro area and Im in absolute heaven! If you aren't already a follower I hope you come by when you can.


Mil-Spouse Appreciation Day!!

Well, here I am, a day late with my mil-spouse appreciation day post. This has been an amazing week for me and my mind has been swimming with thoughts and ideas for me and my blog, and my readers. One thing I am very excited about is an upcoming series about the military life. There are so many spouses, experiencing different things, in different situations, from different backgrounds and living different lives. But, and that's an important BUT.....we can all learn from each other. Even if we aren't going through a specific situation we can still learn from them. I feel like the military life is like perpetual school. I know that every day I'm learning something new. I'm seeing other ways to cope. My kids help me learn. They help me learn to be a better woman, mother and wife! I'm stronger because I know I can be. I hope to bring some amazing stories to you. Stories from some amazing fellow mil-spouses that are strong and beautiful women, along with bringing you my own story.

So to all the strong women out there, Military spouses, girlfriends an fiancé, thank you so much for your example, for your inspiration and encouragement. Stay tuned for a new story every week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

K5 Learning Program Review Announcement!

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been a little light on the posting. So much is going on and I feel like I'm always behind on stuff. Time to Focus Rheanna! What's the word of the day, as my husband would ask. And its a trick question because the word of the day is always FOCUS!!

So here we go.... K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students. I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

If you are interested in checking out K5 Learning now, head on over and check them out!  If you end up subcribing let them know I set you!

And if you want to wait, please stay tuned for a full review from me, here at Cammo Style Love

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop! #ClothDiaperHop

Mother's Day is almost here and we are celebrating with our love for cloth diapers!
Welcome to the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop hosted by Daily Mothering! Nearly 100 blogs have linked up to bring you dozens and dozens of exciting cloth diaper giveaways. \The time has finally come and I'm so excited!  This is my biggest giveaway package yet and I'm really excited about.  There are so many other wonderful blogs participating in this event, including the wonderful Hostess of this event over at Daily Mothering, sporting an awesome package worth $1300.  So make sure to go over there and check that out for sure. Enter my giveaway below and then hop to the other blogs listed at the bottom of this post to enter their fluffy giveaways too! For a recap, here on Cammo Style Love I have FOUR amazing sponsors who have helped me create an awesome prize pack for one winner snatch up

First Bippy Diapers has generously offered a $20GC to their amazing cloth diaper store.  Please check out my spotlight post for them here to find out more about this great company.

Next is The Cloth Nook, a great cloth diapering company run by a husband and wife who are just amazing!  They are offering a Gro-Via all in one in winner's choice of available stock.  Find out more about them here and also my awesome review of EcoKids stainless steel bottles...way cool!

Third we have Fashion Bums, a great WAHM company and also fellow Mil-Spouse.  She makes cloth diapers, wipes, liners, inserts, customs and all sorts of amazing stuff!  My fav of course is the camo print diaper, but that's just me.  Read all about Fashion Bums and check out her great stuff here.  Victoria has been kind enough to include an adorable Contour Diaper in a super cute monkey print.

Last we have Snappy!  A wonderful company that I just used for the first time, which you can also read about in my Fashion Bums post.  I was totally intimidated by them, but they were way easier than I had expected and I may just be a late convert.  So we have one Snappy included in our prize pack as well.  Helpful for the contour diaper if you've never tried them before.  I think you'll find them pretty awesome, as i did.

Good Luck!


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